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The Only Cafe

Not Rated.
The Only CafeThe Only Cafe
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

12 Ratings
Ratings: 12
Reviews: 8
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Taps: 25
Bottles: 200
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

972 Danforth Ave
Toronto, Ontario, M4J 1L9
Canada
phone: (416) 463-7843

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @theonlycafe

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: bobsy on 11-25-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 8 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bobsy:
Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%

We went to the Only Cafe for a birthday party on a Friday night. I can't speak too much for the bar because I spent almost the entire evening in the other half of the joint, which seemed like it would be a coffee place in the day. From nipping through the curtains to grab the beer, the bar did seem kinda cool, but pretty cramped. Excellent selection of Belgians, and some very solid local micros on tap. The prices were insanely good. A pint of Black Oak Pale and a Rochefort 10 came to around $12.60. St. Bernardus, which is still the best Belgian I've had, was $7.10. Over 5 hours I enjoyed a Rochefort 10, Barbar, St. Paul Dubblel and Delerium Tremens ($8 pint). Even with careful pacing, the DT was unfortunately a nail in the coffin for the following day.

The service was prompt and friendly, and provided me with a good recommendation on the St. Paul Dubbel. At the very least they seemed familiar with their beers, which is better than most places. The beers I ordered were in top-rate quality and given to me with more or less the right glassware.

I can't comment on food, though I hear the menu is good for brunch but limited at other times of the day.

Definitely recommended for anyone who wants to try a Belgian beer at a good price.

bobsy, Nov 25, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of hopsolutely
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

hopsolutely, May 17, 2014
Photo of Stanbrogan
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Stanbrogan, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of toronto_beermaven
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

toronto_beermaven, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of Lilwiza
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Lilwiza, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%

I was happy to finally have the chance to visit The Only recently and it didn't disappoint. The tap list was fantastic. Not only were there varying styles and breweries to choose from but some excellent rarely-seen draught beers from Quebec. I likely was lucky to catch the tail end of the Toronto Beer Week Specialty Taps, but I am not entirely sure about that.

The atmosphere is decent. Very dark. Very small. Large patio in the back that is also very dark.

Service was very good and friendly.

TheSevenDuffs, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of flickers
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%

My old local. It's a great place with a lot of selection (taps and bottles) and have been really stepping up their game recently. It's also one of the more reasonably price places, likely due to their location. It's also open all the time which makes life easier for a quick afternoon stop on their back patio.

I highly recommend this place for their layback attitude that just makes it feel like everyone belongs here.

They are also throwing a lot more beer events now, but are getting very busy with as the Toronto craft beer scene grows.

flickers, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of cratez
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%

Went here for the first time in November 2011. It’s a small spot with a relaxed and welcoming vibe. Packed when we came, and no food available, but we managed to snag three seats at the bar and the beer selection is very good.

Featured draughts were Publican House Head of the Trent Vienna Lager (which I regret not trying), Amsterdam Black Friday CDA, and Cheshire Valley Galaxy Pale Ale, so they seem to get the harder-to-find taps. Bottles are an extensive mix of LCBO seasonals and features and various private orders. In fact, they probably have the fourth best bottle selection in the province, next to barVolo, beerbistro, and Gambrinus. I had a fresh pint of Mad Tom IPA and a bomber of Rogue Northwestern Ale.

Bartender was happy to provide samples and my non-beer geek friends really liked the place. I will definitely come back, as they offer a large and interesting range of craft beers in an unpretentious environment with reliable, attentive service. Great watering hole.

cratez, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of Tut
4.86/5  rDev +10.7%

It's high time that I update my review of The Only Cafe. It was a great pub in '07 when I first reviewed it, but there have been significant improvements since then and, particularly, during the past year. A few years ago they acquired the space next door and turned it into a funky and very relaxed and comfortable coffee house. A passage was opened at the back of the bar giving access to it on the other side. Drinks or coffee can be consumed in either area.

The most important change has been a sharper focus on the craft beer selection. A hand pump was added and cask ale is now served. They've also increased the number of regular taps(now 24) to provide a better selection of Ontario craft beer. Some current breweries include Cheshire Valley, Beau's All Natural, Grand River, Spearhead, Great Lakes(from Ontario), and even Dieu Du Ciel from Montreal.

When you combine all this with the relaxed, bohemian vibe, The Only Cafe has become one of the very best pubs in Toronto. Unless you're a finicky, uptight type of person(see below) who can't appreciate the off-beat ambiance or be comfortable in a relatively small bar like this, you'll love the place.

From 2007:
The Only Cafe is a unique, one of a kind pub that deserves to be an evenings destination. I've been going here every time I visit Toronto (4-5x's/yr.)for around six years. They have an extensive selection of bottled beers from around the world and a good choice of Canadian microbrew draughts. What sets it apart is the quirky and unusual interior. The bar area is long and narrow and opens to a larger space to the rear. Two person tables feature cool old lamps of various types and the walls are covered with a crazy mix of photos, posters and art. I really like the laid back atmosphere and the interesting clientele with a wide age range. They have live music occasionally and they serve a great weekend brunch. It's located east of the Greektown area of Danforth Ave. and is easy to get to -- take the Bloor-Danforth subway to Donlands,then walk right(west)on Danforth. It's just a few doors down. Make an effort to visit and settle in with some great beers for a few hours - you won't be sorry!

Tut, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.46/5  rDev -21.2%

Time to review this place as they have doubled the taps, and effort to bring in the hot new beers, including recently, some one offs. The bottles however still ordinary except for some harder to find Beaus seasonals.Still not impressed by any of the staff, but the internet keeping pretty on top of current taps helps.

Small and almost uncomfortable club. There is almost no room to walk around the bar. Ok if there are a couple people sloshing it in the afternoon. Early evening was dark and loud music, not crowded but no service. If you live out this way, it's likely worth it for a walk.

Sammy, Feb 23, 2011
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The Only Cafe in Toronto, ON, Canada
94 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.